Skip to comments.Conditions in Nelson's navy uncovered by scientists
Posted on 09/03/2011 7:14:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Sailors in Admiral Nelson's navy were plagued by scurvy, ridden with syphilis and often mutilated by amputations but only a minority were from lowest social class, Oxford University archaeologists have found.
An examination of 340 skeletons from three 18th and 19th century Royal Navy graveyards found that a "surprisingly high" proportion suffered from scurvy and infected wounds.
The bones, excavated from sites in Greenwich, Gosport and Plymouth, also found that more than six per cent of sailors in Nelson's navy, were amputees, many of whom died as a result of operations that went wrong.
But despite uncovering evidence of syphilis, ulcers, serious tooth infections and possible malaria among the remains of the seamen, researchers said evidence indicated that only a minority came from the lowest rung of the social ladder.
The unprecedented scientific investigation into life below decks for Nelson's men, by researchers from Oxford and Cranfield Universities, will be broadcast tomorrow evening (SUN) in a Channel Four documentary, Nelson's Navy: Back From the Dead.
Individuals examined by the scientists included an 11-year-old boy who may have been a "powder monkey" transporting ammunition to gunners and a "top man" who worked at the top of the masts and most likely died by falling from the rigging during a battle.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
The worst part of being in Nelson's navy would have had to be the weekly octopus or squid attack.
I remember hating basketball because my weekly game was the same night ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’ aired.
God bless you...you saved us from being less than we are
The days of iron men and wooden ships
There is a not so subtle difference. John Paul Jones was dug out from under some shop that was built over a cemetery in Paris. His remains were moved to a new crypt in the chapel at Annapolis, where his body lies in a blue grey marble sarcophagus riding on the back of 4 marble dolphins. It is pretty awesome.
Only proves that people rise to the needs of their day. Just as our people braved the seas to come to a wilderness, fought in terrible wars, and served in wooden coffins at sea. They were made of strong stuff. If pushed, such men and women still walk the streets of England and The United States. I see in the English speaking world great strength. We are —as a group—idealists, and right thinkers who never give up. I recall what a Japanese POW on Tarawa said: “I knew we had lost when the Marine kept coming at us with there guts hanging out.” (or words to that effect). We should be proud of our shared past. We can give more than we think, endure more, and fight harder than most peoples on this fair planet.
“then you really might not want to see this, about John Paul Jones:”
I just write about him. I am not emotionally invested in the man. Besides, he looks than I am likely to when my body has been around that long.
You’ve heard the song Naval Academy midshipmen wrote about Jones?
Everybody works but John Paul Jones!
He lies around all day,
Body pickled in alcohol
On a permanent jag, they say
I've meant to get around to O’Brian’s stuff, but I have not. Mainly because I have the complete Hornblower saga in audio format and that, so far, has satisfied my desire for romanticism of the era from the comfort of my desk.
I hate to say it, but it is better than Hornblower. I think O’Brian does a better job with the details and his written dialog is extremely good. I do love both, but I enjoyed O’Brian’s work more.
All the more reason for me to give them a go!
Maybe I was thinking of pirates or something. Must have seen something on TV that left me with that impression probably that show “Worst Jobs in History”.
no, the article does mention how women were used as hookers on some ships, but when the grog got passed out, it caused a lot of problems.